Maria Soromenho, one of the latest designers to join the Kuji Shop, is truly one to watch. Producing experimental handmade garments influenced by music and art, each with their own story to tell, and a collection to dream of, Maria’s elegent yet edgy designs would make a truly unique and eye-catching addition to your wardrobe. Not only are her designs incredible, this up-and-coming artiste is fluent in four languages, has worked assisting with the styling of Alicia Keys during Paris Fashion Week (wow… I know, right), and has travelled around the world studying with many impressive designers… it’s no wonder we had an awful lot that we were bursting to ask her!
Before you start, why not listen to ‘I’ll be your Mirror’ – The Velvet Underground, Maria’s Soundtrack of choice.
How would you describe yourself as a designer?
I’m really not able to describe myself as a designer at all and I hope I never will as I believe that by labelling myself I’m possibly closing doors to creativity and new experiences, I guess.
Could you describe your capsule collection at the Kuji Shop in 3 words?
Experimental – Hopefully – Wearable
What is the usual process for creating one of your pieces?
I always research a lot. Even though ideas always come quite naturally I always allow myself time to research new themes in order to learn and possibly discover and come up with new ideas… then I always do loads of textile experimentations. Only after that do I think of silhouettes..But I am still quite rubbish with shape, something I truly need to develop !
Could you describe two of your pieces for us?
‘The Fairest of the Seasons’ Dress – I just love how it fits!
‘Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams’ Top – It pretty much is the beginning of all the experiments I want to do using fashion as my medium. It has a lot of unexpected materials including cinnamon. An aim to explore the 5 human senses through clothing.
Who would you describe as your style icons?
I’m crazy about music so normally all my style icons are somehow music related. I’ve been ridiculously inspired by Anita Pallenberg and my favourite singer Nico. Also, Kate Moss.
You initially studied stage design… how does fashion compare to it?
I always wanted to do something in fashion but when the time came to decide what to do in Uni I was going through this very “aiming to be intellectual” teenage phase and wanted to try and do something else. I love the theatre and it made sense. Was a great time and I hope I’ll work as a scenographer one day. I am not too sure how it affects my designs… Maybe my [experience in stage design influences my] process as I always feel the need to create and tell a story or have a strong concept.
How would you describe your experience of studying and interning in so many places around the world?
I wish I knew what to say exactly.. I hope all the travels, living in different countries and speaking different languages influence my designs in a good way. I believe that subconsciously they influence me. My favourite internship was in Paris at Les Arts Décoratifs: musée de la mode et du textil… I learned a lot everyday and met Hussein Chalayan. Not sure it shows in my designs but it definitely had a strong impact in my life
If you had the chance to meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would they be and why?
Brian Jones. Everything about him intrigues me. I just wish I could still meet him.
I think we can all agree that Maria Soromenho is a breath of fresh air. Not only in terms of her designs, but in her attitude and outlook on life. Maria, we applaud you, and are utterly thrilled to have you on board at the Kuji Shop!